Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Georgia Dirt

My plan of doing all my longest midsummer rides in the mountains continues. Down to Mulberry Gap for some Georgia dirt yesterday. Namrita had come north to race the SERC in Chattanooga and met up with me after it on Sunday afternoon. We managed a short desultory Pinhoti ride in the late-day heat, Namrita tired from racing and me from driving.

The next morning began with some good sustained climbing all the way up USFS 68 from MG to Grassy Mountain Tower. The Forest Service finally regraded the sections on Potatopatch Mountain torn up over the winter, meaning fresh gravel replaced the deep ruts of April. An improvement, I suppose.

Namrita stayed down on the ground and stretched. I ran up the scary
rusty tower steps. Don't know if I need to do it again in this lifetime.

from the tower

Namrita couldn't stay the whole ride because she had to jet back to Atlanta so we retraced back down to Mulberry Gap. I stopped just long enough to grab new bottles and a peanut butter sandwich. From MG to an out-and-back on section 3 of Pinhoti, to the edge of the highway. Then up Pinhoti 2 (the "wrong way" to take that trail), up USFS 90, back up 68 to the T. Then down Bear Creek Trail towards the beginning of Pinhoti 1.

A long day turned longer. In my haste at the pit stop I had neglected to add all the ingredients to my bottles. I had three bottles for this solo leg of the ride, but had left out the maltodextrin... the calories. Thinking I was nutritionally on track, but I had only taken in 100 calories since MG. Since maltodextrin adds no flavor or sweetness to the liquid my first hint was when I broke out in a cold sweat. Followed by a tingling nose, my body's signals that it is drastically underfueled. I was near the bottom of the Bear Creek trail, as far as possible from any resupply on this route.

The Gennett Poplar. I'm a sucker for a big tree but this was the first time I had
been going slow enough on Bear Creek to really take a look at it. It is pretty impressive for a poplar.

Nothing to do but keep riding, thankful to have been so careless on a day where circumstances were so comfortable. Sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s were tolerant of hungry idiots. Even starting as we had past 10:30 am, I had plenty of daylight left to poke along and finish out the ride. Bear Creek Trail to Pinhoti 1, then the "right way" down the old logging grades of Pinhoti 2. The shadows under the trees were getting deeper as I scared a black bear and her cub up into the woods. Spun my way back at last, to finally let the dog out of the cabin somewhat later than anticipated.

1 comment:

  1. Girl, take better care of you... I'd like you to stay around for a while. No more silly "I forgot my maltodextrin" shit. Beautiful photos by the way. Come back to Asheville soon, please.